Gabe Rygaard, Star of History's ‘Ax Men,’ Dies in Multi-Vehicle Accident

Andy Swift

By Andy Swift

Gabe Rygaard, known for appearing on the History reality series Ax Men, was killed in a car accident on Friday in Washington. He was 45.

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Rygaard’s Ford Bronco was one of three vehicles involved in the crash, which occurred just outside Rygaard’s hometown of Port Angeles, Wash. The six passengers in the other two cars sustained minor injuries; all were treated at the scene and released.

Rygaard joined Ax Men in its second season (2009) as the new owner of Rygaard Logging, a business founded by his father in 1992. Since then, the company has been featured prominently on the show, which just wrapped its ninth season in March.

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Sadly, Rygaard is the third Ax Men cast member to die in the past four years. Jimmy Smith, whose S&S Aqua Logging company was featured heavily on the show, died of cancer in Nov. 2012, while William Colantuono, who appeared in Seasons 2 and 3, was killed in a helicopter crash in Sept. 2013.

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